Going Green and being Cool – UT is going to empower students talking about climate

In spring 2024, an online course will start for all interested in green topics and would like to communicate them in social media. The course, put together within the Erasmus+ GreenCool project, was put to the test in a work meeting in Hungary at the end of June, when students from 4 counties had the opportunity to test the course.

The upcoming MOOC-course “Greenfluencer - innovative green communication” aims to help younger generations talk about green issues online. It covers essential green topics (zero waste, bioeconomy, soil biodiversity, sustainable living, greenwashing) alongside different communication methods that can be used on social media (blogging, elevator pitch, TEDx, and others). Recording and editing of video content is also introduced as part of the curriculum. The overall goal of the course is to inspire young adults to talk more about sustainability in their social media channels.  

At the end of June, the University of Tartu participated in the GreenCool summer school in Balatonalmádi, Hungary. Together with students from Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, and Hungary, the aforementioned new course was tested. The students got an idea what the goal of the course is, as well as having the opportunity to test out the entire course, giving feedback about the individual subjects and coursework their peers will be tackling. The participants gave excellent feedback and useful ideas on how to improve the course. In the week-long summer school, the students got to learn and practice a wide range of important skills, e.g., how to make 100-second videos about sustainability and edit for TikTok, give Pecha Kucha speeches and elevator pitches, and learn about a wide variety of sustainability topics.  

“It was an interesting and eye-opening experience to hear the students' ideas and thoughts about the course. Thanks to the summer school, we can make changes to the course that we would not have thought of before,” said Hanna Laius, GreenCool project lead for UT.  

“Testing the GreenCool courses this summer showed that many young people are concerned for the future of our planet. On the other hand, there are plenty of those who haven’t given sustainability topics much of a thought before. Courses like ours are necessary so that young adults could learn about environmental problems and would have the desire, courage, and skillset to explain their thoughts in a creative and convincing way,” explained Marit Piirman, the lector who will pilot some of the topics in her course “Green Entrepreneurship” in UT Pärnu College in fall 2023.  

The summer school also received excellent anonymous feedback from the students: “The GreenCool Summer School was exciting, educational, and a fun experience. The team was dedicated to their goal, and we could sense our feedback mattered.”  

“The Summer School was very inclusive, and I feel grateful I could contribute to the project with my opinions and experiences. I had a great time in Hungary. The team was super, and Balaton embraced us well! I’m looking forward to our next meetings.”  

Estonian delegation to Hungary comprised the University of Tartu’s Hanna Laius and Anastasiia Turusinova (Skytte Institute), Marit Piirman (Pärnu College) and two students. The 3-year GreenCool project partners are the University of Pannonia (Hungary), West University of Timișoara (Romania), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), evaluation expert Militos Consulting S.A. (Greece), and University of Tartu (Estonia).  

The online version of the course in MOOC format goes live in Spring 2024 and is open to all interested. In fall 2023, the University of Tartu Pärnu College will pilot some of the topics of the course in their “Green Entrepreneurship” course. 

Additional information: Maria Kristiina Prass, Project Communication Specialist,

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